’Round Town


Wed, 06/16/2021 - 7:15am

In all my years on the planet I have never known anyone with the name Isabel. Through 12 years of public school, four years of college, some graduate school and five years of  teaching, no one has raised their hand. Bobs, on the other hand, had to fight for space on the cutting room floor. We are a common lot. Maybe that's why many prefer to call me Mitchell, among other things ... but never late for dinner. Ha.

Isabel Harkins sounds musical. In the case of Ms. Harkins, nothing could be more true. Music has been a big part of Isabel's path through life, such as it is, so far as I can tell. “My parents sang to me at bedtime before I ever learned words,” Isabel shared with me during our visit. So, in many ways, she had no choice. Music became part of her life at a very early age, and it has stayed with her. Music, I suspect, will always be part of her life.

“I play practically every day. It’s my way to unwind,” says Isabel. A Christmas request as a young child netted a guitar with stipulations. “Play it for a year and we will see about investing in a good instrument,” said dad. Adam Harkins knew something about music. “He has a good set of pipes,” Isabel told me. Knowing Adam as I do, that surprised me. It's not a talent I would have suspected he possessed. But, back in the day, I gather he was quite the troubadaur. A nice Ibanez guitar appeared under the tree, and lives with her today. You should hear her play.

During our chat I asked for a song. She chose one of her favorites, The Old Crow Medicine Show tune, “Wagon Wheel.” Wow! I checked out the “YouTube” video of the “Old Crow” version to confirm proper credits and was immediately transported back in time to my carnival traveling show days. Not for the faint of heart. I seriously doubt Isabel intended her music to go there. But I did!

Isabel's interest in music captivated me. But, although music is a big part of her world, bigger parts are yet to come. An exciting future lies ahead for this young lady. With help from family, teachers and friends, she will be moving into new areas of study, writing and adventure. In the meantime, be patient. There is more music to come, and songs to sing.

Stay tuned.